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President Pranab MukherjeeSaturday called for making administration of justice more representative and responsive to the citizens.

He said lawyers were in a unique position to play this transformative role through offering inputs in the framing of legislations, leading cause-oriented litigations and engaging in social advocacy or research.

The President was addressing the 12th annual convocation of NALSAR University of Law at Shamirpet on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

“The shadows of our colonial past continue to play a predominant role in our thinking in relation to the enforcement of rules as well as adjudication of disputes. It is important to gradually rework the underlying principles to make administration of justice more representative and responsive to the citizens,” he said.

He advised students and practitioners to see legal education much beyond than a means of livelihood. “It must encourage them to constantly think about how their actions will affect the common man. Along with proficiency in the traditionally identified skills of legal reasoning, research and writing, students must be encouraged to attach utmost importance to the enduring principles of equality, liberty, fraternity with unflinching support for social justice.”

The President said while legal education had undergone a paradigm shift in the last two decades, there were still many areas that require further strengthening. He asked educational institutions imparting law education to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and practical application.

He opined that the study of legal system cannot be pursued in isolation from the wider socio-economic realities. “Even as law students become more adept in interpreting legislative enactments and reading judicial opinions, they must do so within the liberal framework,” he averred.

He said NALSAR in the past two years has made conscious efforts to diversify its curriculum by offering more elective courses, giving students greater academic flexibility. “NALSAR is a one-of-its-kind law university in the country which has choice-based credit policy in the true sense,” he said.

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